Will the real Lexi please stand up?

This is my friend, Lexi Morgan.

The Real Lexi Morgan

Lexi has been in Second Life since 2004, as you can see. Although she’d added her partner’s last name to her display name, if you look her up in search, she is still Lexi Morgan. There might be 10,000 other Lexis out there, but as far as Second Life is concerned, she has always been the only Lexi Morgan. At least…she was.

The Fake Lexi

This is Lexi Morgan #2. Her username is beth36. If you don’t have display names turned on in your viewer [a lot of us do not], she looks like beth36. But she’s walking around with Lexi Morgan proudly as her display name. Even worse, when you go to look for Lexi Morgan in search…

Looking for Lexi

When display names were first introduced, MANY people were upset. The content creators – you know, the people who make us look good and generally pay a lot in fees every month for sims and marketplace and uploads? – were especially worried. What would keep someone from using their name? Would that be possible? WHY would it be possible? But they were assured that no, that wouldn’t happen. Linden Lab would help protect them, protect all of us with legacy names.

Turns out? Not so much.

When Lexi was notified by someone that another account was using her name [she’d gone to search for Lexi and that is what popped up], Lexi was, rightfully, very upset.  She filed an abuse report, and this morning she contacted Linden Lab.  After all, they had promised this sort of thing would not happen, and unlike in the real world where several people could have your name, it was always a bonus in SL that our names were OURS.  So she did what any of us would have done and called Linden Lab.  And that’s where things really went wrong.

Lexi spoke with someone at Linden Lab who told her – get ready for this – to just keep filing abuse reports until it was fixed.

Wait.  What?

Now she has to take time out of her day to just keep filing abuse reports, when one has already been filed, when it would be easier for the person she spoke with to fix it right then and there?  Where is the protection that was promised when Linden Lab decided to charge ahead with the ridiculous AOL-esque usernames and display names?  [Don’t get me started on what I think about the username thing.  But you can vote in this JIRA if you feel the way I do.]  Shouldn’t there be some kind of customer service for someone who has been using a service for over 7 years?  Just keep filing abuse reports? That’s IT?

When Lexi told the person at Linden Lab that she was under the impression this sort of thing was never to happen, the person replied, “Yeah, I can see how that would cause a problem for you.”  Lexi also asked what would happen if this account never logged in again, and was told “You should AR separately with those concerns and be as specific as possible.”  Because calling and telling them isn’t specific or good enough?

Nice customer service, Linden Lab.

So now the real Lexi Morgan has to waste her time filing abuse reports and hoping that her customers read far enough to contact her and not Beth36 if they need customer service.  Beth36 can wander around happily with a name that is not hers over her head.  And Linden Lab proved, once again, that they truly do not always listen to their customers.

Edit 8/26/2011:  Lexi confirmed yesterday that after approximately 25 Abuse Reports, phone calls, etc, that the name was finally changed.  Beth36 is now Beth Morgan.  Oh, and she’s no longer an out of work exotic dancer, just in case you were worried about that. :-p  



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That’s what YOU think!

I haven’t had a really good opinion piece in a while, but a blog post was brought to my attention today and a quote from it made me roll my eyes.

“So while I understand that a lot of designers refrain from giving out review copies, we bloggers rarerly blog things we have to pay for.”

So. Not. True.

I would gather that in most of my style posts, I’ve paid for at least 80% of what I’m wearing. It takes money to become a blogger, something that most people starting out fail to realize. Unless you’re blogging nothing but freebies, it takes money. It is such a horrible misconception that bloggers have their Second Lives basically paid for. Sure, there are some bloggers that get a ton of review copies – but those ones are few and far between.

Now I’ll admit that I’m fairly lucky. I’ve made friends with some pretty kickass creators, and I get things for free here and there. Other lists that I’ve managed to get on, it’s because I have bought things in the past from that store [you’re delusional if you think creators don’t check that] and I’ve blogged items from there before.

But, for the most part, I spend a GREAT deal of money financing my hobby. Yes, hobby. Fashion blogging is not a job for me. None of the creators I blog pay me except in thank yous and sometimes in free items. If there is something I think I’d like to blog and I’m not on that creator’s blogger list, I buy it. If it means that I sometimes show the same item a few times in different posts, hey, that’s just how it is. I do not ask for review copies. I’m the one who chose to be a fashion blogger, so it’s up to me to finance that. Any free items I’m given, whether from a friend or from someone who happens to like my blog, I am grateful for.

This quote from this blog bothered me because I see how hard my creator friends work. And I also see how they choose how a blogger gets their items. Some take the somewhat easier route of passing blogger copies to a blogger group and hope that someone blogs them. Others have a delivery system that sends to a list of people that they like. And some others still do it by hand, passing out to bloggers that they like. Almost always, with the exception of the group givers, they choose bloggers who have either blogged their items before, or who have at least shopped in the store before.

YES. SHOPPED. As in “Oh hi, you spent the money to buy something from me.” They are 10 times more likely to give to a blogger who requests a review copy if that blogger has shopped with them before.

Because you know, we see how it goes. We see the bloggers who believe that having a blog means they can ask for the whole store.

Honey, it so doesn’t mean that at all.

You can’t have a blog that has no posts and yet ask for fatpacks of items from stores that you’ve never shopped at before. Yes, we all start somewhere, but usually we start by opening our wallets.

So, Ms. “Bloggers only blog what they’re given” Ma’am. You are desperately, completely wrong in your statement. Maybe YOU only blog free items you’re given, but the rest of us are shopping, and I’ll take a guess that our blogs will be around longer because of it.

Day 224 – Morph Monstah Will Eat Your Soul!

So yesterday, I showed you guys how you can win a photo contest. But there’s something far far worse plaguing Flickr and profiles.

Morphs.

Oh my god, MORPHS.MOOOORRRRPPPHHHSSSS!!!! What’s a morph? Basically it’s an SL avatar’s head on the body of a RL person. They are TRAGIC. They are worse than bling. Yes, I said it.

However, morphs get a lot of Flickr comments because apparently the majority of people have no taste. Heck, people are even winning modeling spots with morphs…which makes NO sense, but whatever.

You can, of course, pay big money to some loser photographer and they can create a morph for you. But it’s fairly simple to do one yourself that is JUST as good as anything you see on Flickr.

So, this is me.

224-365

And this is Holly Madison.

Holly Madison

Now, we need to get my face onto Holly’s body. [I’m SO sorry, Holly Madison. Sooooo sorry.]

I took a picture of me without hair, threw it into Photoshop, used the lasso to cut out my face [don’t worry if it’s not perfect, you’ll erase and blend later], and then dragged it onto Ms. Madison’s head.

I resized and adjusted, and erased anything that was unnecessary. Like, my whole face. Just kidding.

You will have to do a little work to get the face to blend almost just right. I use this tutorial by Ryker Beck quite frequently when doing my own photos. I’ll wait while you watch it. Or you can just watch it later. If you do photos in SL, it’s a good tutorial to learn from.

Finished? Okay. So I used that, then I used the Orton technique, which I showed you guys the link for yesterday, to get soft and blurry. Apparently, blurry is your friend. You know what’s also your friend? Your friends telling you “FUCKING STOP THE MORPHS.”

Duplicate the layer to do a color burn, use the dodge and burn tools, and then lens flare because you know how that makes it all kinds of classy. I threw the picture into Photoscape to get the vignette and do some filters and other finishing work.

And ta-da!! Morph!

Morph Monstah Will EAT YOUR SOUL!!!

Does it look awful? OF COURSE IT DOES. Morphs look like shit because SL faces were never meant to go onto RL bodies. I don’t care how “hawt” you think your morph is, trust me, there’s a big ol’ group of people laughing at you because now you look like an idiot.

If you want to see more morphs, by people who both did it for a laugh and those who are completely serious about it, check out this Flickr group.

Just don’t blame me for any nightmares.